Canal Street Research Association
Basement Cinema: Wasted

March 29, 7pm

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Canal Street Research Association continues their winter/spring programming with Basement Cinema, an after-hours, underground series in homage to the legacy of kung-fu movie houses along Canal Street.

For the second event in the series, Canal Street Research Association presents Shu Lea Cheang’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi film Fresh Kill (1994), introduced by Canal Street Research Association in conversation with Department of Sanitation artist-in-residence sTo Len – who has worked on environmental art and research projects at Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, built atop a landfill. The evening will begin with a sharing of archival footage sTo has been digging up from deep within DSNY’s media department, which traces shifting ideas around waste management and the aesthetics of didactic public video art, followed by a screening of Cheang’s film.

Part of a series that looks at marshes, counterfeits, corruption, and underground politics & poetics, “Basement Cinema: Wasted” will address narratives of waste and recuperation.

Doors open at 6:30pm.

Canal Street Research Association is currently in residence in the Lower-Level Library at Canal Projects. The Library is open Tuesday–Saturday, 12–6pm. Office hours available by appointment.

Established in 2015, Shanzhai Lyric investigates global trade networks, informal markets, and the poetics of counterfeit goods. 山寨, or “shanzhai,” means “counterfeit” in contemporary Chinese usage but translates literally to “mountain hamlet,” in reference to a place on the outskirts of empire where bandits abscond with goods to redistribute among those on the margins. In 2020, Shanzhai Lyric founded Canal Street Research Association in an empty storefront on Canal Street, New York City’s counterfeit epicenter, delving into the cultural and material ecologies of the street and its long history as a site that probes the limits of ownership and authorship.

sTo Len is an interdisciplinary artist whose work has centered on collaborations with abused landscapes and has included printmaking with polluted waterways, 3D scanning Fresh Kills landfill, recycling waste into art materials, and performing at Superfund sites.  He is currently the Artist in Residence at the Department of Sanitation in NY.

Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters.